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tv   [untitled]    January 9, 2011 11:00am-11:30am PST

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"i'm a resident of 316 to reynaud. i've lived here 15 years. my life actually started back in 1972. my grandmother moved to parkmerced when i was two years old. i cannot remember a time when parkmerced was not part of my life. when i got married, my husband and i knew this was where we wanted to live. we started our family here. we have two young children who have known this as their only home. we loved living here. this is our home. please do not demolish our home. it would be a terrible financial hardship on our family to move. parkmerced is a wonderful place in san francisco to raise children, to build forces many units would ruin a wonderful neighborhood. many things can be done to improve parkmerced in its existing state. there is no reason for it to be
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demolished. please consider the families of the elderly who will suffer the most. thank you for your consideration." thank you. [applause] >> my name is dr. terence faulkner. i have been an elected member of the committee 1974 cents, representing the western side of san francisco, and i have also been a member of the board of directors parkmerced residents' organization. unfortunately, for the first time in my life, i had to sign an impeachment order against our president when he tried to purge our board of directors. sari in happened, but he forced it. we did not. when i last appeared before your board, i handed out some copies
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of this geologic map. it is from the united states geological survey. it basically shows the western side of sand and cisco, basically the format of their is the most vulnerable area of san francisco. means the most susceptible area to look for vacation and everything else. the whole western side of san francisco has historically been low rise. because it can take a good hard hit with an earthquake. remember, the san andreas fault is right off the coast. it is literally only a few hundred feet off the coast. in any event, what we are doing with parkmerced -- if they tried to build large towers, there will be an extreme danger of failure. this is why we are handing out these maps. this could end up in court at some point where there is wrongful death suits and/or
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manslaughter charges. things come down and people get killed. this whole issue i think is going to be a major issue. this is one that is not going to go away. there is too much money, too much power, too much of many things. building on some of the most prickly vulnerable land in the city and county of san francisco highrise is borderline insanity. they call it the park merced vision. i call it insanity. thank you. [applause] >> good evening, commissioners. my name is dennis snoring 10. i want to thank you for the privilege of being allowed to speak before you today. i am the longest term tenants in
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parkmerced. i have lived in parkmerced longer than anyone else. i moved into my current apartment in 1957. before that, my family and i lived one block away for 11 years. that is a total of 64 years of residency in parkmerced. [applause] i have read the plan over as much as one can do with such a huge document, and it appears to me that there are two very grave of missions, both of which have been spoken to by a number of the speakers tonight, and i appreciate that. the first is in response to one of the early speakers who asked what the rights of tenants are with regard to this plan under the red control laws, and the
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answer is as far as the event control laws as amended by the ellis act, there are not any rights. if you are a tenant in parkmerced and your unit is demolished, under the current rent control laws, you have no rights. however, this can be dealt with, and i think it is important to know back -- note that a special dispensation bill must be added to the plan to protect the rights of tenants. without this, any verbal or written promises by the landlord are legally unenforceable, so that is the first omission, which i think should be corrected in the plan. secondly, mr. faulkner spoke to the other omission, which may be corrected eventually, but that is the seismically unstable
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nature of the soil in parkmerced makes this one of the most earthquake-prone sections of the area. the soil in parkmerced is of a sandy nature and is subject to immediately qualification in any kind of severe earthquake. the loan will create a quake, which was not centered anywhere near parkmerced -- it was 60 miles south -- there was enough shaking so that one of the old tower apartments almost came down. it appears to me that while the plan itself discusses the problems of a seismic threat to parkmerced in the case of an earthquake, the plan itself has no provisions for specifically dealing with this situation. i find it very problematic that
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in addition to the old tower apartments, which were never retrofitted after the law will create a quake, the plan calls for putting up numerous other 13 to 15-story tower apartments in one of the most seismically unstable pieces of land in the bay area, so these are the two major points that i want to make tonight, and i appreciate once again the privilege of being able to speak before the commissioners, and i hope you will take these omissions of the plan into consideration when you deal with whatever action you are going to take. thank you very much. [applause] >> good evening, commissioners. do not start yet. i have a tenant for about 15 years. my wife is chair of the health
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education environment san francisco state. she gets to walk to work. i am an artist and a teacher. i have to drive. but i love living here. i have raised two and a half kids here. i have spent close to $25,000 on the courtyard where i live. i planted 15 rose bushes, trees, and i have invested a lot in this community because it is a real community. i have four yale degrees, and i studied in the master of architecture program. my teacher has been called -- just retired in his late a.d.'s, and has been called the four most critic and historian of architecture in the indebted states. he is the rally against this project. he is a good friend of the head of the national historic register, and he is determined
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to recommend this to his friend to be on the national historic register. the architect for the courtyard is the godfather of landscape architect to design, the man who laid out the plan, did the plaza hotel in new york. if it is not broke, do not fix it. this is an incredibly successful housing development that mixes high rise garden apartments, and the court of where we live is like a miniature italian hill town. it is a fortress for the safe raising of children. they run around free and secure in a courtyard like you will not find any place in san francisco. these apartments are going to be bulldozed, and we will move -- we will be moved into apartments lined up on a straight line. what kind of courtyard are you going to raise kids there? it is not going to work. how many people on the panel here have read the late, great, jane jacobs book "the death and
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life of american cities"? can i see a show of hands? if you have not, please read it. what everybody is speaking here tonight is directly relevant to that book. she was revolutionary. she says when you bulldoze a community and build a new community and move strangers into it, you lose the fabric of community. it integrates into a slum. i fought a project like this when i live in a silk mill in massachusetts. they wanted to turn this beautiful building -- an art historian wrote a beautiful book about it. they wanted to turn it into 26 apartments. the little village got a lawyer. we fought at city hall. we came close to stopping it. i got them to reduce its to 19 apartments. it is now an incredibly depressing slump. one of the most beautiful
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buildings in massachusetts. it is going to happen here again. we can keep the community that is here and not destroy it. please do not do this. [applause] commissioner miguel: before the next speaker, because we have been here this length of time, we are going to take a 10-minute breaea
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commissioner miguel: if you'll pardon me, with this brightly shining, i cannot necessarily read this correctly. >> hi like to introduce my next- door neighbor at two years, nellie delaware bottle. >> thank you very much. i have lived here for 21 years. my husband, my two children, and me move from a two-story apartment. we ran away from there, and we found this beautiful community. where we live, it is so happy here, so beautiful. now we are living in panic. people knock on my door and asked me when we have to move, when we are going to tear down the apartment. people are living in panic. we are also concerned about how
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much of this is going to be in the area. we do not know when they are going to start actually, and we are very concerned about this. i invite you to come to parkmerced any day and go to the gardens and the apartments. it is just beautiful. i am completely opposed to this. thank you very much. [applause] >> can you hear me? ok, commissioners, i'm on your list. the lady behind me let me go ahead of her because i have to get back to my sick wife. my wife and i are decent residents. we moved in in march. what can i tell you accept i hear all this talk about the
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environment. let me tell you -- since i moved here, i have lost about 60 pounds. my health and energy has gotten a lot better. same for my wife. one thing i will say is i will just tell you this that i had a conversation with my wife recently, and she did not understand -- i do not know either -- why the plans are to destroy such beautiful, durable places like garden apartments. i will tell you that when we moved here, we sought and we still think this is a little slice of heaven, so i find myself distressed to hear about the project plans to demolish and garden apartments. as we live in 100 block of gonzales, if they go through, we will probably be one of the first ones to have to leave. that is my guess. i could be wrong. another thing i would like to bring to your attention -- a
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small matter, perhaps not germane to your decision, however, what is decided in this matter concerning division plan will be utilized in not only local law, but state and federal matters across the country to help decide similar issues. i think it has something to do with the good faith clause in the constitution. i'm not going to take any more time because so many people have spoken and have said things so much better than i can, so, commissioners, i want to thank you for your time. please have a good day. commissioner miguel: thank you. [applause] >> hello. in a lifelong resident of san francisco and a five-year
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resident of parkmerced and a former intern with the department of city planning. for three and a half years of my residency here, i fought for rent control. i'm proud to say, successfully. why did i fight? because i love my home. i like the quiet street, the individual town house had occupied, and the view from my kitchen window. i cannot imagine ever living in the ken hill of the town towers. i'm afraid of heights, and i am ever vigilant of the earthquake san francisco will one day in door. rent-controlled, relocate? what about the quiet enjoyment of my home? after three and a half years of fighting simply to retain the basic amenities i first signed my lease for, i find that once again, i must extend my time, energy, and money for the same period as an environmental planner, the proposal to triple the density of parkmerced seems
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ludicrous to me. triple the congestion of the a new transportation solutions? triple the parking hassles the of proposals for parking light satellites? mirror and sheer volume? trimble the crime be a high- density and rerouting of public transit? outside the window dressing of the publicity campaign, residents are well aware of how management solves problems. just one example is parkmerced's answer to the city's legislation to hide garbage cans here rather than direct small view blockers, the remedy was to create large dumpsters located 50 yards away from a tenants' home. behold. for once, let the needs of the many residents of park merced out with the greed of the few. imagine the richmond district or sunset district -- one here? because it is privately owned.
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[applause] >> thank you. my name is kevin murphy. i have been at parkmerced for five years, and we have been fighting them for four years. thank you for letting us talk, and thank you for everyone that has given their input on both sides of the issue. a couple of issues -- for those of you that think that this plan is going to work -- there is a basic principle. corporations are not out for people. they are out for profit. the landlord is a corporation. the landlord wants san francisco to change the rules for their benefit, not for our benefit. i think a lot of you think we are being intransigent here. we are not being intransigent against change. we are intransigent against corporate greed. [applause]
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we do not want that. the choice before you all is this -- on one hand, do you side with the rich, the powerful? or do you side with the people? that is your job. do you guys side with us? you are charged with protecting us from predatory developers. this is not florida. and i'm sure each of you have made your decision already. i have seen people tapping their pencils. no one is taking any notes. i know you guys already made your decision, but i want to ask you right now -- whose side are you on? [applause] >> good evening, commissioners. i'm a 20-year resident of the sunset district and also a member of st. stephen's parish, and i'm going to use my time to read this letter from the leaders of the parish.
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the letter is signed by 55 or more than that, i think, parishioners. there are many more people in our parish in support of the project, but i will just read this letter. dear planning commissioners, as a long time neighbor, the parish has a vested interest in the development plan the central commission is reviewing today. we had the largest san francisco school, church, and organization in the immediate area impacted by the development. when we first ran, we formed a committee to track the project and inform the parish of the impact it would precipitate. as you may be aware, several development projects have met with considerable opposition from our parish, and many ultimately failed. our organization works closely with the supervisor's office to
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ensure that any proposed development impacts are mitigated to community consensus. with 5000 679,000 new units, relocation of light rail, new retail schools and traffic improvements, the task of discerning the impact laws is overwhelming. a final evaluation hurdle to account is the 20-year phased deployment of various project components. our parish committee consists of several experienced developers and environmental assessor's employed by government agencies in the area. the committee has attended over 45 meetings regarding the project. we have also held many meetings for the interested members of our parish to discuss their concerns in private. after all our analysis, discussion, and efforts, even a pair -- st. stephen's parish supports the new development for the following key reasons -- the relocation of light rail to the west side, addition of traffic
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signals in 19th avenue and seven adjacent intersections, high level of green building technologies employed throughout the entire project, and a retention of rent control units and the addition of new affordable housing units. thank you. commissioner miguel: thank you. [applause] am i good evening, commissioners. i'm the committee chair for st. stephen's, and i was the person who was tapped by the previous pastor who just recently left the parish and retired to track this for the parish and get some of our people who are very well informed about development issues, a couple of attorneys, to really try to figure out what was going on here, and i have to be honest -- i'm disappointed we did not get the presentation because we are really watching
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nuts and bolts that are going on here, and to not have that presentation when we're talking about transportation and housing does leave me a little bit hamstrung. i could go on about the traffic, and i have sat with peter albert, with the mta. we have talked quite extensively and actually walked to the differ intersections and looked at what is going to happen with all the different levels and integration of the plan as it goes. we are very excited about tier 5, and for those of you who are not aware of what it is, it is where the developer puts up $100 million in infrastructure. we have 24 months for the community groups to come together that are interested, and we start identifying things we would like to see improved in the immediate area. they are actually thinking of putting a 30/70 mac so we will jump to the front of the line. that is another $250 million or $300 million to fix that street
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out there. nothing makes it perfect, but i have a personal reason. about 33 years ago, i lost a little brother to a traffic accident. i happen right in front of me. about eight years ago, the civilized that can section. had it been civilized at the time i was going through it, i would still have a little brother. i understand everybody's banks and uncertainty in being relocated. to be honest with you, i'm scared just listening to them, but at the same time, we have to look at the health and vibrancy of the people who go across there. 100% of those trips go across 19th ave. four deadliest intersection, 19th and hallway. we really need to start looking. there has got to be a way we can make this project work so that we can all benefit because i do not see any other transportation infrastructure dollars coming down the road here. it is really critical that we
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fix this part of san francisco. i'm five generations here in san francisco. anybody who has been around here -- i know commissioner antonini lives not far from here. that is a nightmare. we need to be able to come together on this. i have talked to several attorneys in our parish, and i know, not to say that the other commissioners would not, but commissioner olague is not going to allow this project to go through without the retention of the rent control. i know it is one of her issues. i have heard her at commission meetings before. to not be able to work through this as a community and come up with something that is good -- because there are a lot of positive things to this project. no project is 100% positive. there is going to be drawbacks. there is going to be things that need to be mitigated. commissioner miguel: and you.
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just so you know, the information that would have come at the front of this hearing will be put forward in future hearings. >> good evening, commissioners. thank you for hosting this meeting. we are one of parkmerced's neighbors. i was born and raised and continue to live here, and i'm also a graduate of san francisco state, so i spent a lot of time here. i'm here tonight in support of the proposed development because i think it is important to encourage more family housing and to improve and upgrade the traffic situation, such as the improved intersections, pedestrian safety, and especially the realignment of the streetcar.
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traffic has increased. that is a reality in san francisco, which needs to be addressed sooner rather than later, and this project will finally bring much needed funding for those improvements. this benefits not only the people who live here, but those of us who drive this neighborhood several times a day to shop, to bring our children to school, or to take a walk around lake merced. i encourage you to consider the benefits that all residents will gain from this project. thank you. commissioner miguel: thank you. [applause] >> good evening, commissioners. i'm a parishioners at st. stephen's church. i have been living in the west side of the city for eight years now, and i want to thank you for coming here this evening. you have had other hearings.
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our family life is primarily centered in our neighborhood. our extended family lives nearby. we use the local services, patronize local restaurants, coffee shops, and grocery stores, and our son goes to lakeside presbyterian. our hearing is to demonstrate how familiar i am with the area and how invested we are in the community. we have everything we need right on our doorstep making it a very attractive neighborhood to live in and a desirable area for people to live in and to visit. for all the great things that the west side office, the one - experience getting around is the crazy traffic we experience. particularly in the mornings on my way to work and at the end of the day as well, i travel around the st. francis circle of 19th avenue. one significant concern in the
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morning is the amount of children commuting to school. i drive new kid of we will preschools, five elementary schools, and one high school and two universities. hundreds of our children in countering hundreds of cars, buses, and trains daily. his fortunes a big safety concern to so many people who travel through the west side of the everyday to get to work or school or conduct their daily business. i wholeheartedly embrace any program, development, or initiative that develops -- addresses the ever-increasing problems of transportation, traffic, and public safety. due to the city fuzzy budget problems, they singularly are unable to deal with this monumental task. the proposal by the developer to operate road and highway intersections, extend streetcar lines and provide car and 5- sharing options would collectively go a long ways towards relieving the pressure


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